A scam based out of Oregon is looking to defraud truckers of big money. Drivers have been receiving automated calls urging them to pay unpaid traffic tickets with reloadable debit cards or face the consequences.
The caller, identifying himself as “Alex James Murphy with the Oregon State Police” tells drivers that a bench warrant has been issued on an unpaid speeding ticket.
According to the message, the ticket needs to be paid in order to “avoid further legal action.” To pay the ticket, the driver has to purchase a reloadable debit card through MoneyPak, place $ 154 on the card, and then call another phone number to provide the card information over the phone. Needless to say, if the driver does all that, they’ll find out that there never was an unpaid speeding ticket, and that the $ 154 is long gone.
You might think that such a straight-forward scam wouldn’t meet with much success, but apparently it’s successful enough to warrant repeating. The scam first cropped up in November of 2012 and has undergone a few different changes since then.
If you find yourself in a similar situation and you’re unsure whether or not it’s a scam, here’s some information to help:
- No legitimate law enforcement agency will call citizens seeking payment for outstanding traffic citations.
- The state police (and most other law enforcement agencies) will never call individuals to solicit money. Ever.
- If you’re being threatened with legal action over non-repayment of debts, always ask for written proof of the debt.
- Always ask the caller for as much specific information as possible including a court case number, date of ticket, and vehicle license number.
- If at any time you feel that you may be the victim of a scam, disconnect immediately, contact the police, and report the caller to the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. http://www.stopfraud.gov/